Here's how to add variety and interest to your reading activities:
- Have your student read from a book every day.
- Choose a fun activity like those listed below to supplement reading interest.
- Use a different supplemental activity each day.
- Each of the strategies below may be employed once a week or less.
Reading Confidence Cards
This is a great idea to slowly build reading vocabulary of common words while quickly building confidence. Reading Confidence Cards have repeating patterns with eight cards for each set. Activities including drama, drawing, or matching cards and objects can be done with each set. Get a FREE DOWNLOAD
of the Reading Confidence Cards.
The Dictator's Story
Sorry about the title, but some kids really
like this one. Let your child dictate a story to you, and you type it in a word processing program.
I modify the stories to ensure the sentences are complete and the grammar is correct. Then, the story is printed for them to read. And re-read. And re-read.
It is their very own story and they proudly claim all credit for authorship. You can lay out the pages to allow for artwork if the student would like to add pictures. Warning: some kids really can become dictators; wanting you to drop everything to record their inspirations the moment they are inclined.
This works great for poems
, but can be used with other reading passages as well.
You might start by reading the poem to the child with expression so they can take pleasure in the sound of the words and the meaning. Then have them read it. Practice it several times in order to read it to someone else.
The repetition builds their reading skill and the performance for one other person builds confidence and pride.
For many kids one of the most fun reading activities is playing games. There are many reading games that give youngsters practice reading printed text. Some kids enjoy competition, others enjoy taking turns in a group activity. See ten different reading games
for kids in primary grades.
This activity helps students read and spell color words. First, on separate cards, print out the words for each color with that color of marker or crayon. For instance, "pink" would be written with a pink crayon, "orange" would be written with an orange crayon etc. For white, use a black marker or pen and draw thick, rounded letters which are left white on the inside. At first, the student practices "reading" the cards, which is easy since the word and color print are the same. Then, cut the letters up individually. You might only cut up one or two words at a time. For instance, the "pink" card would be cut into the four letters: p - i - n - k. Then the student arranges the letters in the correct order. Each session, have them work with a new color and practice arranging all those previously cut up.
Use the comics in the newspaper or get a comic book. The student can be one particular character, and you read the bubbles for the other characters. With older students, the same can be done with plays.
Newspapers often have kid's sections. You can also subscribe to colorful magazines specifically for children in a specific age range. This has the added bonus of the child receiving real mail just for them. Many of the magazines include fun reading activities such as words searches or puzzles.
For more fun reading activities, see our list of strategies for working with phonic word families.
Cooking With Kids
Before starting to cook, have the child read the recipe and get out everything that is needed. If the child is too young for that, the parent can get all the ingredients and place them on the table. The child needs to read the recipe and put the ingredients in the order they are listed.
This is a fancy of way of saying "read the box." It's a another tricky fun reading activity that gives them practice reading bigger words, without realizing they're practicing reading.
Simply hand them the box of a product they have used, have them read it, and tell you something they learned. The box can be a new cereal or cookie, a box of a toy they got a few days ago, the box of a game, the box of a new vacuum cleaner, or the box of the cough syrup you gave them two days ago. The trick here is to have them read the box a day or two after they have used the product.
Why not have them read it before? Well, that's because they are excited and ready to go with using, or eating, or playing with it. Taking the time to read the box
then would be a chore. But a few days later much of the initial excitement has worn off. Actually, reading the box then is a great idea, because it allows them to recapture some of their initial enthusiasm. Plus they bring in their own experience to this activity which will enhance their ability to sound out larger words. Try it a few times. They really can learn new things about the product as well as gaining practice reading in the "real" world.
Sticker Books, Puzzle Books, Coloring Books
There are a variety of activity books enjoyed by kids of different ages. A quick little reading activity for fun: have them read the writing at the top of the page to you. This can be done before or after they complete the other activities. I particularly like sticker books, because they often have a few sentences to read for each sticker. They have the fun or searching for the right sticker after reading the little description.